The struggles of the elusive winter.

Winter missed us, well at least here in the Mid Atlantic and most, if not all, of the east coast from my experience. Last year 2022 wasn’t bad for resort skiing here in McHenry, at Maryland’s only ski area. The conditions didn’t mimic spring skiing all year round! It was however horrible for anything without man made snow which unfortunately is my favorite place to partake in snow sports. It kept cold enough for the resorts to keep their produced snow in decent condition. Unfortunately though like this year it hardly snowed 48’ 2023 and 56’ 2022. Even more heart breaking this year it wasn’t cold enough to keep all the trails in decent condition. Basically one had all the base and the rest would melt out, then fresh snow would be made to replace it during a brief cold snap.

The last few of years, Ally and I really had bad timing chasing the snow. In 2021 we flew out to CO to try and get on the snow right before our local resorts opened up. They day we came back from that trip a section of 70 closed down less then an hour after we drove through on the way to the airport, due to a fire. This was in December and it was still so dry that fires were breaking out.

We did catch a few spring storms at Winter Park in 2021 and 2022 which seemed like massive amounts of snow given our local mountain conditions, but in reality wasn’t that much accumulation. We finally hit the Jack pot this spring in ID! Landing at the airport at midnight, Micah picks us up with news of over a foot of snow in the mountains with about the same amount forecasted for tomorrow. Waking up at 6 a.m. we head to Tamarack. Tamarack is a ski resort about 2 hours from Boise. We loaded the truck in the rain and headed out of town along the Boise River. Then as we paralleled the Payette River snow flakes started to form. As we approached the town of Cascade, we passed a heard of elk and followed the North Fork of the Payette as the snow thickened. Arriving at the ski resort we had free refills all day as the snow continued. After receiving a text alert of even more snow the next morning on our phones, we rallied for yet another free refill day. We went to Bogus this time. The fog was intense and visibility was super low and we spent the day trying to stay together. Then another powder alert; this time we took our time and were rewarded as the weather lifted and we could see the amazing 360 view, instead the back of each others heads like yesterday when we were trying to stick together. I mean, any trip out west this season would have pretty high odds of hitting the powder Jack pot, I feel we got lucky this late spring trip.

I have notice a trend with the snow in my local area. It seems to be coming later in the season than when I grew up. As I write this the on May 3, 2023, this notion is reinforced by the last 2 days of snow. The last two day’s accumulation are probably just shy of a quarter of the snow we had this season.

I am concerned the El Niño weather pattern is coming which will be bad for the ski seasons on the east coast. This could help send average temperatures to new heights, which isn’t good for winter sports. You can help protect our winters by donating to POW.

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